The Association of Tax Magistrates of Uruguay requested, through a press conference, that the attacks of the political spectrum on tax officials cease. “We are against the politicization of the Prosecutor’s Office (…) It cannot be that when a denounced person or denouncer is someone from the media or from the government, it depends on which side we go, it is because we are from one party or another. It can’t be! You can’t keep saying this!” summed up the member of the board of directors, Brenda Puppo.
It is unusual for the Association of Prosecutors to call a press conference, but its president, Willian Rosa, conveyed that the situation is complex and that the call for the nine members of the commission and more than a dozen prosecutors who accompanied the public , sought to give a real impact to the proclamation. “Political actors have affirmed the existence of partisan political tendencies,” said Rosa, stating that his intention was to express the concern felt by officials and urge political actors to reflect on the issue.
They cited two examples that they believed to be illustrative. At the Colonia Departmental Board, a Broad Front mayor, Pedro Leizagoyen, said that “the majority of the prosecutors in Colonia and Montevideo rule in favor of power. They are bought by power.” The second case is that of the nationalist senator Graciela Bianchi, who said that she had lists in her possession that show divisions of prosecutors and her political leanings. She indicated that if there is any doubt about the proceeding of the prosecutor in a case, the complaint should be made through the corresponding channel.
Rosa criticized this type of statement: “That the actions of the Prosecutor’s Office be expressed in the departmental or national Parliament in the form of grievance or suspicion, obviously lowers society into manifestations of violence. If the actors who are representatives of the people demonstrate Thus with respect to the Nation’s prosecutors, when citizens take that example, it has repercussions in acts of violence”.
“The prosecutor of Bella Unión, the prosecutor of Rivera, the prosecutor of Melo. The prosecutors, actually, because the vast majority are women. The prosecutors from all parts of the country. When they act, can anyone believe that they act in a logic like Has Senator Bianchi referred to? It is challenging the intelligence of the citizenry”, the president assessed and added: “All of this impacts the Prosecutor’s Office that we want to have. The further away the party politics is from an institution like this, the better. It is a guarantee for officials and for the public.”
In this sense, they demanded that the political system comply with its obligations. For example, make effective the appointment of more than 20 officials who could fill the vacancies that exist today. The contests have already been held and the names have already been determined. All that is needed is for Parliament to finally vote on it, something that has been overdue for months due to a decision by legislators, who have systematically postponed it. Also, that they be provided with the necessary resources and that a court prosecutor be definitively appointed, given that Juan Gómez is the surrogate of Jorge Díaz, who resigned from office a year and five months ago.
The message they will give to the International Association of Prosecutors
President Rosa pointed out that in June the International Association of Prosecutors has scheduled a meeting in Fortaleza (Brazil) and that they will mention what happened.
“In those areas where the Uruguayan prosecutors did not have much to say, compared to other colleagues in the region, obviously now we have to make a raccount events that have occurred and arouse concern and that we are going to report,” Rosa said at a press conference.
The division in Prosecutor’s Office
Consulted regarding the rift between officials of the Prosecutor’s Office —which has been exposed in several cases that were publicly disclosed—, they preferred not to focus more on the subject, although they clarified that “in any body” there are “problems between officials” but it is not a core theme.
“We understand that the division attracts more attention, but reality shows more unity than division on issues that are transcendent and have to do with the union (…) It cannot be that what is left in the end is that there is a division between prosecutors, and there are political actors promoting that idea of division, when the reality is different. It is something that we look at in the board of directors and it surprises us, “said Rosa about the crack. The vast majority of decisions in the board of directors are made unanimously.
The Observer reported this weekend about the nature of the crack in the Prosecutor’s Office and the references it had in specific cases. “A fact that takes on division relevance among some, leaves the vast majority of us out. I think they are not as linear as they appear,” Rosa opined.